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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/5/12

America Leads the World --- in Waging War, Creating and Selling Weapons of Destruction

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Message Michael Payne


Being a strong leader, becoming the best in the world in the world is a great achievement. That's the image that America once presented to the world, one of strength and leadership. And it's even a greater achievement when that leadership involves meaningful, important endeavors, primarily those that serve to benefit mankind in positive ways. That's the kind of leadership that America once provided in this world. That world view of America has now changed from one of admiration and respect to one of fear and trepidation.


One hundred years from today, if our civilization even exists, based on the terrible beating that the Earth is taking, people will be reading about America, that nation that rose to its full potential by becoming the leader in meaningful achievements and in the noble effort of attaining world peace. But that didn't happen and, instead, America used its massive military power to dominate and control vast regions of the world. And, at the same time, it became the premier seller of the weapons of war and destruction. People of that time will find it very difficult to comprehend how a nation was transformed from a symbol of hope and inspiration to one that was looked upon by many nations with fear and trepidation.


The trusting side of me believes that this is not the real America, that this is not what we as a nation and society are destined to be and that it's only a matter of time until this country turns in a new direction. But the practical, realistic side of me tells me that what I'm seeing is the real America, that this is exactly what it has become and, unless some kind of totally unexpected, minor miracle takes place, nothing will change for the better. There are those who contend, and they may be exactly correct, that necessary change will not come unless America undergoes a financial collapse, is forced to abandon its current totally misguided direction and has no other choice than to rebuild itself from the ground up.


Setting aside this less than noble distinction of being #1 in waging war and selling the weapons of destruction, can America lay claim to any important area of achievement in which it currently leads the world?   Do we lead the world in academic achievement? No, we are lagging far behind and doing little to nothing about improving it. How about the development of new sources of energy? No, our government and the oil/gas industry have teamed up to prevent that from happening. Well, how about the condition of our national infrastructure? Again the answer is no because numerous nations are far ahead of us.


And I won't even dare to bring up the subject of manufacturing because it pains me to talk about something that is in the process of dying. Our economy still leads the world, based on outdated, questionable measurements, but the largest portion of the wealth derived from it goes to Corporate America while the people of America fight for the crumbs falling off the table.


But certainly America must be the world leader in medical care, right? That's entirely correct if you happen to have your own private insurance, obtain it through your employer, or through Medicare. You receive first class treatment at the best facilities, including preventative tests in order to catch diseases in their early stages. But if you don't belong to that group, and millions of Americans still don't, then you are in a system that ranks with those of third world nations. The Affordable Health Care Act, aka Obamacare, when and if it is further refined and fully goes into effect, has the potential to become an effective system that will benefit everyone; that is, if the heartless, merciless, and cruel Republicans find some devious way by which they can destroy it.


But why is it that, under these deteriorating conditions in which an increasing number of Americans live and struggle to survive that the people just cannot seem to come to clearly identify America's agenda of perpetual war as the basic, underlying cause of all or most of our most critical problems? Why do so many millions of Americans not find it morally reprehensible and totally unjustifiable for their government to make the proliferation of military power and dominance its primary objective to the exclusion of so many elements of this society that require immediate attention?


This might be a viable explanation for why the American public is still so supportive of the military. It seems as if people continue with their love affair with all things military, one that reached its height during World War II. America's continued support and respect for the military has been reinforced by the many movies and TV shows which have depicted that war as one that was fought to defend this country against a foe with an objective to rule the world. It was a war that was fully necessary and justified, one in which U.S. troops did not die in vain in some fabricated war launched to control the world's resources. And this was America's last honorable war, quite possibly the main reason why the majority of Americans still support our military even though many do not agree with its current missions.

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